Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser 2017
Many people know of the immense Brazilian Amazon with its astonishing biodiversity. Some people might know about the highly endangered Atlantic Rainforest that once stretched across large sections of the Brazilian coast. However, even within Brazil, very few people are aware of the cerrado: a fascinating biome of vast grasslands, lightly wooded savannas, and ribbons of gallery forest growing along winding rivers. As one of the world’s most biodiverse tropical savannas, there are approximately 10,000 plant species in the cerrado. It also supports the greatest variety of large mammals in all of South America, including such iconic species as the stilt-legged maned wolf and tube-nosed giant anteater. By birding the spectacular landscapes of the inland state of Minas Gerais, we hope to encounter these mammals, as well as many of the cerrado’s most special birds, including but not limited to Brazilian Merganser, Cock-tailed Tyrant, and Cipo Canastero.
Our trip begins at the scenic Serra da Canastra National Park. The main focus here is finding the near-endemic Brazilian Merganser, a specialized denizen of clear-water streams and one of the Western Hemisphere’s most critically endangered birds. In addition, the rolling grasslands, wooded savannas, and gallery forests are home to an excellent assortment of range-restricted species, such as Brasilia Tapaculo, Golden-capped Parakeet, and Stripe-breasted Starthroat. This site also offers our best chance for giant anteater.
Next, the Serra do Caraça lies on a transition zone between the drier cerrado and verdant Atlantic Rainforest, providing an interesting mix of birds from both habitats, such as Gilt-edged Tanager, Serra Antwren, and Swallow-tailed Cotinga. However, the main attraction here is the nightly appearance of maned wolf at the monastery.
Our last port of call is Serra do Cipó National Park, a location renowned for its spectacular gorges and waterfalls. The rocky grasslands found in the higher elevations of this park are home to a highly localized set of Brazilian endemics: the spectacular Hyacinth Visorbearer, demure Cinereous Warbling Finch, and recently described Cipo Canastero. Our trip ends back in Belo Horizonte.
For those wishing to see more of the wonderful country of Brazil, this tour can be combined with our Heart of Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon and Pantanal 2017 tour, our Comprehensive Southeast Brazil: Intervales to Linhares Part I 2017 tour, and our Comprehensive Southeast Brazil: Intervales to Linhares Part II 2017 tour for an overall 51-day Brazilian mega tour.
Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Spaces Available: 6
Date Start: September 12, 2017
Date End: September 20, 2017
Tour Start: Belo Horizonte
Tour End: Belo Horizonte
Price: US$4323 per person sharing
Single Supplement: US$409
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Featured Guide - Eduardo Ormaeche
Head of our South/Central American office in Peru, and senior tour leader in this region. Since 2004 Eduardo Ormaeche has not stopped working for Birding Ecotours. He started guiding tours in his nati ...See guide details
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Hello Eduardo: I feel that our trip to Colombia was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding bird tours I have ever been on. You did an excellent job of planning, guiding and looking after the logistics on the tour. Colombia is a pleasure to travel in with very friendly people, excellent roads and pleasant, clean accommodation. Even the more basic places were comfortable, clean and quiet. Santa Marta is a wonderful place with plentiful birds and fantastic scenery. Rio Blanco was my favorite part of the tour with the antpittas and Ocellated Tapaculo at my feet. Otun Quimbaya with Red-ruffed Fruitcrows as yard birds was also a very enjoyable. In all parts of the country I never felt at risk. Colombia is now a safe, rewarding country to travel in. I can hardly wait to return. Thank you, Jim Martin